The Minister for Economic Affairs, Jan Vapaavuori, stated in a bulletin yesterday:
“After a thorough assessment, the state has found a serious industrial partner, Meyer Werft, that has extensive and high-quality expertise in shipbuilding operations.”
The Minister revealed that the negotiations had begun in the end of 2013. He added that the acquisition was by no means yet a certainty. STX South Korea, a parent company of STX Finland, has already been notified of the Finnish Government interest. The acquisition will be scheduled depending on STX South Korea.
“We have learnt that there's willingness in Korea to discuss the sale of European shipyards,” Vapaavuori added.
According to the Minister, Meyer Werft will have the majority stake in the Turku shipyard whilst the Finnish Government will have a minority one.
“Both the Government and Meyer Werft are committed to the ongoing negotiations. The negotiations, however, remain at a preliminary stage, so we cannot comment on any details at this stage,” he said.
Last year, STX made an announcement that it was looking to sell several shipyards due to shipping industry downturn.
The Finnish Government faced heavy criticism after it refused providing Turku shipyard a loan in 2012. This contributed to a loss of $1.4 billion (1 billion euro) order for cruise vessel as well as many potential vacancies.
Meyer Werft was founded in 1795. The company employs over 3,100 people and its turnover for 2013 was 1.3 billion euros.